This is my exchange of emails with Donald Casssano (ADOT). It appears that we, as volunteers, really have no voice in how things are run.Mal Otterson, Highway Clean Up Volunteer Verde Village Property Owners Association Begin forwarded message:
From: Donald Cassano
Date: February 27, 2012 11:11:01 AM GMT-07:00
To: ‘Mal Otterson’
Subject: RE: highway cleanup
Dear Mr. Otterson,
Thank you for comments regarding Adopt a Highway cleanups. At ADOT, we appreciate all of our volunteers’ efforts to keep our highways litter free.
In your email, you stated that after the litter pick up your group prefers to have the litter bags left on the highway to emphasize to the public “what a mess the highways can be has been generally accepted by the public.” And, that your group then, days later, has the litter bags picked up and taken to another location so that recyclable materials can be separated.
In the ADOT Adopt a Highway Safety Guidelines that every permittee is provided, it states that filled litter bags are to be tied and placed six feet from the edge of the roadway shoulder/pavement. In addition, volunteers are encouraged to recycle and take those bags to the appropriate municipal or commercial recycling center.
Your group has asked ADOT to leave these filled bags for five or more days on the roadway so that motorists can see the amount of litter that was picked up by the volunteers. Your group then has the bags picked up and taken off site for the contents to be sorted.
The ADOT maintenance crews will pick up these filled litter bags after the clean up, and will not be leaving them on the roadway. If your group wants to recycle the materials, they can either do that as they are picking up the litter, or your group can pick the bags up immediately and take them to be sorted and recycled off site.
The ADOT maintenance crews pick up the litter bags as a part of their regular duties. Leaving the litter bags out on the roadway for days is unsightly, and ADOT is committed to picking them up to so that the roadways are litter free.
DonDon Cassano, Ombudsman Arizona Department of Transportation 206 S. 17th Ave., Room 192 Phoenix, AZ 85007 Office 602-712-4371 Mobile 602-377-3450 Fax 602-712-3232
From: Mal Otterson
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 1:13 PM
To: Donald Cassano
Subject: highway cleanup
My name is Malcolm Otterson. I’m the person in charge of highway cleanup for the Verde Village Property Owners’ Association. In the past two years I’ve worked with Gary Chamberlain to coordinate the highway cleanups between all of the permittees on each major highway.
With his coordination most of the cleanups have occurred on the same day and were quite successful. He has been pushing to have all permittees commit to the same number of cleanups per year also. His idea of leaving the bags on the highways to emphasize to the public what a mess the highways can be has been generally accepted by the public. In addition, having Reese’s Tire or Tire Pro pick up the bags and take them to Morning Star ranch to take out the recyclables seems to promote ADOT’s stated goal to promote recycling. For the past 6 years that I’ve been coordinating just the VVPOA cleanups no one has separated recyclables. It is just too cumbersome to carry more than one bag at a time. So all of that said, I’m wondering what was the point in having ADOT pick up the bags and take them to the dump? Were you getting damaged in some way. Was ADOT losing its reputation, such as it was? How much money was spent in this effort that was clearly unnecessary?
I look forward to your response. (see above response from Don Cassano, Ombudsman ADOT)